Sue Souter, Publishing Director at Marketing WAM, talks about raising brand awareness through being consistent (and then bold) with content
If I had pound for every time someone said to me ‘but I don’t know what to write’ I would be on my beach in the Bahamas by now. (Note to self – put that right).
So I have heard just about every excuse going for what I call serious lapses of content concentration which result in the last entry on your website being a year last Friday and everyone drawing the obvious conclusions. The lights are on but there is nobody in. And that is not a great look when you are trying to grow your business.
Marketing WAM has been set up to give members a natural home for all their content and I see my job in providing ongoing encouragement.
It should not stop with us by the way. The time and energy committed to a piece of content can and should go far and wide, but if you start with us – and my constant nagging (advisory) – it will help.
So four things to think about:
1. Always start with what clients need to know
So have an ideas session with the team on what your clients are talking about and how do you help them. This can then be translated into a series of pieces of content covering:
- Examples of great work that you have done for someone else – proof of the pudding – with permission please!
- Solutions to challenges you know they lose sleep over – in an easy to digest top tips format
- Any impending changes to the marketplace they should know about
- An opinion on key issue facing the industry – don’t be afraid to voice it. Be confident. You know a lot more than them about it
2. Appoint an editor in chief & get a calendar together
This is someone whose job it is to make sure the pipeline happens, but remember great content comes from all over the organisation so share the burden. In my experience the most interesting people are usually the busiest so there are two things to do.
First of all get a really compelling sell together on how content can help build the business and then make it super easy for them to contribute with plenty of notice and utterly focused on their area of expertise – what they can comfortably wax lyrical on.
I would also recommend a physical Content Calendar which is on a regular agenda – the higher up the business the better.
Obviously the editor in chief needs to be able to recognise – even if they can’t themselves produce it – great copy and have an eye for strong visuals and be prepared to try new things / channels to make content stand out as well. If you don’t have those skills in the business get some professional help, because the second big mistake after having no content is bad content.
3. Is Word enough?
It is the starting point for all content pipelines and is its rock and foundation. But it’s not quite enough. Remember the internet is a supremely visual medium and in some cases a stunning photograph with a caption will do the job better. So mix in the following:
- Good professional photography of your people and in support of your major news and solutions. I work with loads of photographers who are dying to get to know businesses and provide ongoing support. Have a cohort of 2-3 you use all the time – they will then help you shape your look and feel
- Invest in an infographic or two which paint the facts of an issue. It’s also a great way of summing up a year in the life of your business – all your achievements – with a short 100 word commentary
- Start to bring in video. Video has never been more important online and in social media and note the following: By 2022 82% of all consumer internet traffic will come from online videos. YouTube is already the second most popular website in the world after Google (indeed it is owned by them) and on Facebook, engagement is highest on posts that have video (13.9%). So not be afraid, give an enthusiast their head with an Iphone for some of it – especially the day to day – and splash on some professional support for the big things.
A final thought
Content – if you make it happen and you make it interesting – people who know and like you will pass it on. So think of all those ambassadors just waiting to be mobilised. And have fun. Content marketing has rooted selling in story. So enjoy telling it.